As the custody battle heats up between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, word comes that for the past couple of years their children, Connor, 6, and Isabella, 8, have been home-schooled because of their parents' demanding travel schedules. In fact, I hear that two years ago the couple plucked Connor's favorite preschool teacher from her Santa Monica classroom and hired her to tutor him during the eight months they spent in Australia and other locations while Tom was filming Mission: Impossible 2.

If funnyman Craig Kilborn shoots from the lip while hosting the TV Guide Awards on FOX March 7, he may have Garry Shandling to thank. The two were playing hoops at Shandling's house when the Late Late Show star told him about the gig. Shandling, who scored big points as last year's Emmys host, promptly rattled off three jokes—then teased Kilborn that it would cost him $50 per quip. But his advice is always free. "It's the same as I give him on the basketball court," says Shandling. "Be quick, be a team player and try not to get hit in the face."

The set of K-PAX was a happy place on Feb. 13, the day the Oscar nominations were announced. The director of the drama, lain Softley, threw a surprise party to honor three members of his cast and crew who were nominated: Jeff Bridges (for supporting actor in The Contender), director of photography John Mathieson (Gladiator) and makeup artist Ed Henriques (The Cell). The first to raise a champagne toast to the trio was last year's Best Actor winner and K-PAX star Kevin Spacey.

Charmed's Alyssa Milano switches from The WB to ABC to reprise her role as the mayor's daughter on the Feb. 28 episode of Spin City and ends up kissing Charlie Sheen. Most guys would welcome such an encounter, but the scene had the actor in a self-conscious funk. Sheen, a smoker, had heard correctly that Milano kicked the habit last year. Three days into the shoot he stepped outside to have a cigarette and, to his relief, found Milano puffing away. Turns out her smoke-free stint lasted only five months, but now, with the help of acupuncture, Milano swears she'll quit for good on May 1, after her series wraps for the season.

Now that George W. Bush is in charge, the stars of The West Wing find themselves on the outside of the Oval Office. When Bill Clinton was President, the cast of the Democratic-leaning show routinely were invited to White House functions. Dulé Hill, who plays presidential aide Charlie Young, suspected the visits would be coming to an end, so he called Betty Currie, Clinton's former secretary, and arranged to take his family on a tour before Clinton left. Currie even arranged for them to sit in the President's box at the Kennedy Center for a performance of The Spirit of Kwanzaa. Well, maybe Hillary Clinton will give them a tour of the Senate.

  • Contributors:
  • Hugh McCarten.